Meditation is all about the breathing technique so you might be wondering, what is the difference between a breathing meditation and any other form of meditation. After all, isn’t proper breathing essential for any meditation as with any form of breathing?
Good question. When we talk about a breathing meditation, it’s in reference to the process of making the breath a vehicle for entry into the meditative state. Other common breathing vehicles include chanting a mantra, visualization, focusing on a single object like a flame or bowl of water, walking, or even focusing internally on a specific organ or location within the body.
Meditation can be a wonderful activity for self improvement and to get the most out of it, you need to know how to breath properly.
Now that we have established that breathing is important, let’s have a look at how to use the breath as a vehicle into meditation.
Here are our 5 important steps that you can use to create a good breathing routine for meditation.
Anytime is a good time to meditate. The first step to mastering an effective breathing meditation (or any type of meditation) is to find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed and is dimly lit is generally the best.
2. No Slouching Allowed
Sit in an upright position with a straight spine is best for effective meditation. You can sit in a comfortable chair or on the floor. Whatever position you find to be the most comfortable for you, to avoid distractions from throbbing knees or a sore bottom, is the best for you. So experiment a little! Do you prefer a chair with a straight back to lean against, or would you rather sit on the floor, a stool or even a kneeling chair? The important thing is to keep your spine straight and your body comfortable to avoid being distracted.
3. Pre-Meditation Prep
It’s extremely important to remember to relax! Let your eyes close and be relaxed. Now take three slow, deep breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. When you inhale, fill your lungs as much as you can, then hold for a few short seconds. When you exhale, let any tension in your body, worry or distracting thoughts leaving with the breath. This will leave you ready and relaxed for the meditation to begin.
4. Breath in Easy
After you have taken your three deep breaths, just allow your breath to continue naturally. Bring your complete focus to the sensations of breathing. You may notice a tickling as the air enters your nose, or the subtle rise and falls of your chest and shoulders with each breath. Observing these sensations is the focus and purpose of the meditation.
5. Judgment, Distraction and Return
When you begin your first breathing meditation, you’ll most likely find your mind wandering a lot. Don’t worry about or fight against this as it’s a natural part of the process. You may also notice yourself judging or analyzing the sensations you’re observing. This is normal but not very beneficial. So whenever you notice your mind wandering or making judgments and assessments of things – either inside or outside yourself – simply bring your attention back to your breath. Every time you feel this happening, stop the thought and concentrate on the breathing. With practice, this will become easier and easier to do, until your mind really feels a sense of freedom from thought, distraction, worry or discomfort.
Have you ever used a strong breathing meditation? How did it work for you? If you haven’t, give this a try for about a few days or so and then leave a comment and let us know how it’s going. We welcome your feedback.
Image 1: The Daily Heal
Image 2: In the Pursuit of Health